Ruth Lawanson

Ruth Modupe Lawanson (born September 27, 1963) was the head coach of the University of Nevada volleyball team. Born in Nigeria, she played volleyball for Fresno State and the United States national team, winning a bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Ruth Lawanson
Personal information
Full nameRuth Modupe Lawanson
BornSeptember 27, 1963 (1963-09-27) (age 57)
Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
National team
 United States
Medal record

Playing careerEdit


Lawanson played for the Fresno State volleyball team and was named MVP of the team in 1982, 1983, and 1984. In 1984, her senior season, she led the Bulldogs to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA tournament, was named NorPac co-Player of the Year, and was an All-American. She was also named the 1984-85 Fresno State Female Athlete of the Year. Lawanson was the first female athlete in school history to have her jersey number retired, and she is a member of the Fresno State Athletic Hall of Fame.[1]


Lawanson played on the U.S. national team for four years. She won bronze medals with the team at the 1990 World Championships, 1991 World Cup, and 1992 Summer Olympics.[1]


Lawanson played for the Major Volleyball League's Dallas Belles and Minnesota Monarchs from 1987 to 1989. She was named the league MVP in 1988.[1] She later played in Italy and France from 1992 to 1995.[2]

Coaching careerEdit

Lawanson was an assistant coach at Purdue University for four years, at Fresno State for six years, at the United States Air Force Academy for two years, and at the University of Nevada for one year. She was the head coach at Angelo State for three seasons in which she led the team to a 19-65 record. She was named the head coach of Nevada's team in 2011.[1] On November 26, 2014, she was relieved of her coaching duties at Nevada.[3]


Lawanson was born on September 27, 1963, in Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria, and is 5 feet, 8 inches tall.[4] She graduated from Fresno State with a degree in business administration in 1987. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Volleyball Coaches Association.[1]

Lawanson married Shawn Kenan in 2002. Divorced from Shawn Kenan in 2015.[1] Her cousin, Foluke Akinradewo, also played for the U.S. national volleyball team.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Ruth Lawanson Profile". Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  2. ^ "Ruth Lawanson" Archived 2011-12-15 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Ruth Lawanson". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "Q&A With Nevada Volleyball Coach Ruth Lawanson On Her Olympic Experience". August 11, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012.